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Cathay Pacific to cut 6,000 jobs, axe Cathay Dragon brand amid COVID-19 pandemic: Report

Cathay Pacific to cut 6,000 jobs, axe Cathay Dragon brand amid COVID-19 pandemic: Report

FILE PHOTO: A Cathay Pacific Airways Airbus A350-900 airplane approaches to land at Changi International Airport in Singapore. (Reuters/Tim Chong)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways will cut around 6,000 jobs or 18 per cent of its workforce, and axe regional brand Cathay Dragon to help it weather the coronavirus pandemic, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday (Oct 20), citing sources.

The airline said in June it was reviewing its strategy in light of the travel downturn, with "tough decisions" to be announced during the fourth quarter and analysts expected it would announce major job cuts.

In June, the Hong Kong government led a US$5 billion rescue package for the airline, which has been burning through around HKD1.5 billion to HKD2 billion of cash a month.

The South China Morning Post said the airline was expected to announce the job cuts on Wednesday, adding the figure had been reduced from 8,000 layoffs after government intervention.

READ: Cathay Pacific shuns some job subsidies, raising spectre of major cuts

READ: Hong Kong budget carrier joins 'flights to nowhere' trend

The newspaper, citing sources, said the Cathay Dragon brand, would be sacrificed but staff and resources of the two airlines would be merged. Cathay did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The airline last month said it would not apply for further government employment subsidies for its main business units, freeing up its ability to make major job cuts at Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, though not at budget carrier HK Express.

Singapore Airlines has announced plans to cut around 20 per cent of positions, while Australia's Qantas Airways has said it will cut nearly 30 per cent of its pre-pandemic staff, but Cathay had until now refrained from major job cuts.

The airline has sent around 40 per cent of its passenger fleet to less humid locations outside Hong Kong for storage.

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Source: Reuters/lk

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